Monday, June 9, 2008

Taking One Last Dip in the Pond Scum Before Richmond

It took all the suckin' up I could muster up to take one last swim in the crappy, leech-infested, slow flowing, greenish Susquehanna River to be ready for Sunday's Championship Xterra race in Richmond, Virginia. Three times I stepped in, then stepped back out. Rick was watching from the car this time rather than from the comfort of his boat by my side, and when I started heading back to the car, he started shaking his head calling me a wimp asking what's wrong. "So why aren't you swimming WITH me Rick?" "I don't want to swim in the river." "But why Rick, WHY don't you want to swim in the river?" "I just don't want to." So back I go to try for the 3rd and final time. Ok, I said to myself, taking a really big breath. Don't look down I thought (there were a LOT of wiggly things at the shore this time...and BIG crayfish with BIG pinchy thingys just waiting for their opportunity). And don't worry about that ankle deep'll wash off. Oh...and that's the best spot for the snapping turtles to hang out to cool off when its this hot, but don't worry about them either. Do you know what finally forced me in the water? Jamie Whitmore. Knowing she'd swim in anything about now made realize this river ain't nuthin! Anyways...they actually manufacture and SELL pond scum to consume and slather on your body -- so maybe my skin will turn silky soft and smooth! In I went, and had to stop after about 2 minutes 'cause I wasn't making any headway in the stronger flow going through the first opening in the ferrywall. But have no fear...just stand up! It's no more than 2-3 feet deep with many spots now 1 foot deep and you can scrape your hands across the bottom -- or in weedy things. And those weedy things wrap around your legs too when you stand up. So the best thing is just to keep swimming and not pay any attention to the bottom. But it was really, really murky tonight for some reason. You couldn't see the bottom of the 1 foot areas from the thickness of the scum. You could visibly see algae floating...and tiny specs of I don't know what. Swim time tonight? 15 minutes was all that was tolerable. When I noticed the weird aqua bug creatures floating in numbers, I figured that's enuf. The stroke felt good, so that's all that counted for now...and I think I'm ready to get back in open water for the 2nd (and likely most important) Xterra of the season. XterraChic talked about the James River being what you could call an "off road swim". Maybe Xterra should do more of those -- they certainly add a different perspective on swimming!

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